- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Two students shot; two vehicles carjacked

Two people were shot at a vocational school in Northeast yesterday afternoon.

Police said a student shot a male student in the face at the Excel Institute on V Street, then went outside and shot at a group of students, hitting a woman in the shoulder. Officials said the victims’ injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

Police said the gunman then carjacked two vehicles as he fled. One carjacked vehicle hit a police cruiser and another car, injuring an officer and pregnant woman.

Officers then caught the suspect and arrested him.



State announces electricity savings

Maryland regulators yesterday announced that ratepayers will save an estimated $225 million in electricity payments between June 2011 and May 2012.

The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) said the savings is the result of a complaint filed with federal energy regulators.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled that PJM Interconnection LLC did not follow the necessary procedures to seek an increase in power system reliability payments to be determined in an upcoming auction.

The auctions set one-year prices for “capacity” three years in advance.

“I commend FERC for taking this action in response to our request, which will save an average residential ratepayer approximately $50 per household in 2011,” PSC Chairman Steven Larsen said.


Firefighter admits setting library fire

A volunteer firefighter pleaded guilty to setting a Havre de Grace library on fire in August.

Daniel Ramsey, 29, entered the plea yesterday in Harford County Circuit Court. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit second-degree arson.

The judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison with eight years suspended. Ramsey will serve five years of probation and must pay $18,000 in restitution.

Fire investigators said Ramsey and a 17-year-old boy threw an incendiary device through a window at the Havre de Grace branch of the Harford County Public Library. The fire caused about $17,000 in damage, officials said.

The 17-year-old was sentenced last month to 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay $18,000 in restitution.


Rough-water alert issued for Potomac

Maryland Natural Resources Police are warning recreational boaters to stay off the Upper Potomac River from Cumberland to Little Falls.

The agency said recent rainfall has raised river levels and created dangerous, fast-moving currents.

The warning continues through Friday and includes adjacent creeks and streams that feed the river’s main stem. Professionally guided river tours are excluded from the warning.


Man, 64, dragged in fight aftermath

A 64-year-old man was dragged about 120 feet after he showed up to a fight between a 19-year-old acquaintance and two other men, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kristen Timko said the teen arranged to fight in the parking lot of a Hughesville business on Saturday night, the result of a longtime dispute. She said that the teen called his mother for help and that she arrived with the 64-year-old man.

Miss Timko said the two other men stabbed the teen in the arm, and as they drove away, the teen shattered the back window. She said they turned around and hit the 64-year-old, dragging him under the truck.

The man was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with serious injuries that were not considered life-threatening. The 19-year-old was taken to Southern Maryland Hospital Center with injuries that were not life-threatening.


Woman sentenced for painkiller fraud

An Edgewater woman who received painkiller prescriptions from 85 hospitals in 11 states using another woman’s identity was sentenced to three years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Belinda Glock was sentenced Monday on prescription fraud and identity theft charges.

Prosecutors said she used information found in a wallet, lost by a Garrett County woman at a supermarket, to obtain prescription painkillers in 2006 and 2007.

Authorities said Glock went to emergency rooms at 85 hospitals complaining of back pain. After receiving a prescription, she used the woman’s credit cards to pay for the prescription.

Prosecutors said she also purchased $1,600 in jewelry in addition to nearly $25,000 in drugs and hospital treatment.


Mystery bright lights, blasts lead to arrest

Police made an arrest in connection with a middle-of-the-night mystery captured on videotape.

Frederick Lee Mackler, 59, was charged with controlled dangerous substance violations, possession of fireworks without a permit and reckless endangerment. He is being held on $1 million bail; a bail review is set for April 30.

Deafening blasts accompanied by blinding split-second flashes of light have rattled residents of one neighborhood for months.

Elaine O’Mansky said she has heard the noise 25 times since September, always between midnight and dawn. She said the accompanying flash was bright enough to light up her bedroom.

Barbara Friedman said that the first time she heard the blast, she thought someone was shooting at her.

The police department set up cameras and recorded the phenomena last week.

The recorded flash lit up an area the size of a football field. Based on shadows, police think the light source was in the air about 30 feet above the ground near the Beth Tfiloh Community School.

Utility workers found no electrical problems or gas leaks that could explain the noise and flashes.


Son committed after father’s death

An Anne Arundel County judge committed a Linthicum man to a mental hospital after ruling that he wasn’t criminally responsible for his father’s murder.

Circuit Judge Paul F. Harris accepted state doctors’ conclusions about the mental health of John Bealefeld, 43. The judge ordered a state mental hospital to treat him until he is no longer considered a threat to society.

Anne Arundel County police charged Mr. Bealefeld in July after his 76-year-old father was found bludgeoned to death in a home they shared.

A few months before Maurice Bealefeld died, he sought an emergency psychological evaluation for his son, saying his son was hearing voices and assaulting him.


MTA officer gets five years in scam

A Maryland Transit Administration police officer was sentenced to five years in prison in a car-insurance scheme.

James Walthall, 41, of Randallstown, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in February.

Federal prosecutors said he arranged to burn a vehicle that he owned and two vehicles owned by other MTA employees to avoid repossession and use the insurance for the outstanding loan balance.

MTA bus driver Lucretia Westbrook and MTA Officer Ronald Lurz also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.



Bus rides free to promote transit

The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission will offer free rides today on all Northern Virginia bus routes, including Metrobus.

The free rides are meant to encourage commuters to use mass transit and reduce air pollution. Free rides also will be offered during all Code Red days this summer when ozone levels are extremely high and air quality is poor.

The Washington region is likely to see more Code Red air-quality days this summer due to a new, tougher standard established by the Environmental Protection Agency.


Trees along Beltway felled for HOT lanes

Hundreds of trees along the Capital Beltway will be cut down in preparation for the construction of new toll lanes, transportation officials said.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said crews have begun clearing brush and trees to make room for construction trailers at four staging areas along the Beltway — at Georgetown Pike, Chain Bridge Road, Interstate 66 and Braddock Road.

The staging areas will be used until the project is completed in 2012.

Two high-occupancy toll lanes will be built in each direction between Springfield and just north of the Dulles Toll Road. The $1.4 billion project is being funded by the state and private companies.


Boy left at Wal-Mart; three women sought

Police were searching for three women who fled a Wal-Mart when security guards accused them of shoplifting, leaving behind a 2-year-old boy.

Newport News police said when officers confronted the three women, two ran to a taxi and another ran toward the interstate. After a few minutes, one of the women returned to the store, asked security guards not to call the police, then left again without the child when told that police already had been notified.

The child’s mother later arrived at the store and was allowed to take the boy home. The mother is not one of the suspects.



Henlopen pier closed for repairs

State officials closed the Cape Henlopen fishing pier, saying it is in need of immediate repairs.

State parks and recreation officials closed the pier yesterday after receiving an engineering report that found 18 pilings need immediate repair.

Fencing will be installed around areas to be fixed and areas where work is not being done will be reopened. The repairs are expected to cost about $150,000.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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